1on1 with Matti Sirvio – Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art

What does art mean to you ?

It’s a really powerful way to communicate & connect with people. So I think it’s a platform where there is freedom to express and I think when that platform is established, it becomes wider, people are connecting more.

How has your journey been in Oman?

Me and my wife both live and work in Oman, and I love this country. There is no hostility, there is no aggression in this country and I appreciate that very much. I do work here but I do exhibit internationally a lot. My last exhibition was in Cannes, France, and before that I had gone to Cairo, Egypt and now I am going to have one in Portugal in May, and then in New York in June. So this is a great place to work and talk about art and I see that the appreciation for art is growing in Oman also but it’s very slow. So if a person is thinking of earning out a living of art in Oman, they will be disappointed. But I think it’s something that will grow because every nation needs this platform very much. And it’s very easy to get rid of it just for the sake of business and that happens in many countries that if they have to cut their budget, they usually cut their budget from the culture first and mentally retarted people, unfortunately those are the two groups that suffer. But we are here to encourage one another, people who are involved with art and who see beyond the visible, so that’s what art is about.

Share some of your experiences from your last exhibition.

I think that most of my exhibitions are in the Middle East because I am based here, so there is like a lot of growing appreciation, and my last one was in France in an area that is really a veteran in art because of the area and they have been re-cultured. So it was interesting for me for a change to be in Europe with an exhibition because everybody who comes to the exhibition knows more than I do and they know how to talk about art, and their requirements and their questions are so different. So I enjoyed it very much and not to say that I wouldn’t enjoy it being here and other places where people are not so familiar with art but it’s a different ball game, it’s just a different setting.